exas CaHd rats to Veterans of
te Reolution anid Signers of the
Declaration of 4Jdepemdewce
THOMAS L. MILLER
P RIOR TO 1876 Texas had already made generous land grants
to the veterans of the Revolution. By 1876, however, many
of these veterans or their widows were in destitute circum-
stances. The legislature responded to this need by an act, which
the governor approved on July 28, 1876, granting a pension of
$150 per year to each surviving indigent veteran of the Texas
Revolution, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, or unre-
married widow of such veteran or signer.' The pension was short-
lived, for on March 13, 1879, the act was repealed for the stated
reason, "that whereas, at least ten times as many names have been
presented as was contemplated and as only $2o,ooo had been
appropriated there was already a deficit of $150,ooo."2
As Texas, in 1879, still had public lands but little cash, the
legislature decided to substitute land certificates for the pension.
Accordingly, an act was approved on April 26, 1879, which granted
a 640 acre land certificate to all those indigent veterans, signers,
or their unremarried widows, who were then on the pension rolls.
To qualify for this donation, the applicant was required to go
before the county judge of the county of his residence and prove
that he was physically unable to support himself, that he did not
then own property in excess of $500, and that he had not sold
property in like amount within the last twelve months. Then the
Comptroller of Public Accounts, who had the pension rolls, could
check this list with the applicants, and omit any whom he sus-
pected of having been guilty of perpetrating a fraud. A Veterans
Board (not to be confused with the board created in 1946) con-
1H. P. N. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas (io vols.; Austin, 1898), VIII, 897.
2Ibid., VIII, 1334-1835.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed May 24, 2016.